June 2022 Touchstones Readings From the Common Bowl

June 2022 Touchstones Ministry Theme: Prophetic Imperative

June 1: “How does our faith hold brokenness, injustice, and suffering? Clumsily. Gingerly. Tenderly. Bravely. Lovingly. Reverently. Humbly and deliberately. Imperfectly.” ~ Victoria Safford

June 2: “I’m no prophet. My job is making windows where there were once walls.” ~ Michel Foucault

June 3: “A prophet is not someone with special visions, just someone blind to most of what others see.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

June 4: “Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives. The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets.” ~ Anthon St. Maarten

June 5: “When you are a child, you are yourself and you know and see everything prophetically. And then suddenly something happens and you stop being yourself; you become what others force you to be. You lose your wisdom and your soul.” ~ Jean Rhys

June 6: “…let us be artisans of hope, artisans of wonder, working with the clay of human longing, of our capacities for greed and indifference, exclusion and fear, as well as for generosity, courage, forgiveness, and resilience.” ~ Sharon Welch

June 7: “May we all have the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the hearts to burn with holy, human fire.” ~ Dan McKanan

June 8: “A prophet is the one who, when everyone else despairs, hopes. And when everyone else hopes, he despairs. You’ll ask me why. It’s because he has mastered the Great Secret: that the Wheel turns.” ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

June 9: “Prophetic love requires discipline, humility, and practice.” ~ Kate Lore

June 10: “Your masters …have taught you to idolize reason, drying up the prophetic capacities of your heart!” ~ Umberto Eco

June 11: “We can always be sure of one thing—that the messengers of discomfort and sacrifice will be stoned and pelted by those who wish to preserve at all costs their own contentment. This is not a lesson that is confined to the Testaments.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

June 12: “Prophetic churches minister to the community as it is while reminding the community of what it could be.” ~ Adam Gerhardstein

June 13: “There are prophets, there are guides, and there are argumentative people with theories, and one must be careful to discriminate among them.” ~ Peter Brook

June 14: “The prophetic church presents a vision that compels us to act.” ~ Paula Cole Jones

June 15: “Then he raised his voice in a prophet-like challenge that I knew would live with me forever: ‘Don’t ever give up in freedom what we would never give up in persecution!’” ~ Nik Ripken

June 16: “The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us.” ~

Walter Brueggemann

June 17: “But why? Why do you need prophets to tell you how you ought to live? Why do you need anyone to tell you how you ought to live?” ~ Daniel Quinn

June 18: “Learn the lesson that, if you are to do the work of a prophet, what you need is not a scepter but a hoe.” ~ Bernard of Clairvaux

June 19: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” ~ Matthew 7:15

June 20: “Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science? … No other human institution comes close.” ~ Carl Sagan

June 21: “Some people believe the alternative to bad religion is secularism, but that’s wrong…. The answer to bad religion is better religion—prophetic rather than partisan, broad and deep instead of narrow, and based on values as opposed to ideology.” ~ Jim Wallis

June 22: “Ideas combined with courage can change the world.” ~ David Litwack

June 23: “There are two ways of being a prophet. One is to tell the enslaved that they can be free. It is the difficult path of Moses. The second is to tell those who think they are free that they are in fact enslaved. This is the even more difficult path of Jesus.” ~ Richard Rohr

June 24: “Ezekiel and his fellow prophets have become my heroes. They were fearless. They literalized metaphors. They turned their lives into protest pieces. They proved that, in the name of truth, sometimes you can’t be afraid to take a left turn from polite society and look absurd.” ~ A.J. Jacobs

June 25: “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:2

June 26: “As a teenager, I always intended to do my homework. But when the supplicant dead come to you for justice and you also have occasional prophetic dreams, life tends to interfere with your studies.” ~ Dean Koontz

June 27: “One thing about change hasn’t changed: it still fascinates some people, frightens others, and provides a good living for a prophetic minority.” ~ Warren Wiersbe

June 28: “Any work we do within our congregation is bound to affect our work outside its walls.” ~ Carol Caouette

June 29: “May we lead, not lag. May we reclaim the voice of our prophetic faith.” ~ Kat Liu

June 30: “Prophecy is a poetry of change, social, political, moral, spiritual.” ~ Allegra Goodman

Bonus Day: “Every minister worthy of the name has to walk the line between prophetic vision and spiritual sustenance, between telling people the comforting things they want to hear and challenging them with the difficult things they need to hear.” ~ Timothy Tyson